Dundee Utd 2
Hearts 1
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
2 - 1

League (Premier Division)
Wednesday, April 25th, 1979
Tannadice Park. Att. 6,005
7:30 PM Kick-off

Davie Dodds (20)
Billy Kirkwood (40)
Willie Gibson (pen.) (85)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Willie Ormond

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Ray Stewart
3. Derek Stark
4. Graeme Payne
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. Derek Addison
8. Paul Sturrock
9. Davie Dodds
10. John Holt
11. Billy Kirkwood
Thomson Allan .1
Walter Kidd .2
Ian Black .3
Cammy Fraser .4
Frank Liddell .5
John Craig .6
Willie Gibson .7
Jim Brown .8
David Scott .9
Lawrie Tierney .10
Denis McQuade .11

12. Bobby Robinson
14. Frank Kopel
Bobby Prentice .12
Drew Busby .14

None. Drew Busby for Lawrie Tierney (45)
Bobby Prentice for Jim Brown (80)

None. Cammy Fraser (44)
Frank Liddell (65)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

B Robertson (East Kilbride) (Referee)

Match Report

United turned up for this one with eyes on the title. Meanwhile their opponents looked bound for the First Division.

Dundee United harried and hustled their opponents from the start, forcing corners galore and giving Hearts defence all kind of problems. But the visitors survived, though it took a fine save by Thomson Allan to keep out a Hegarty header in eight minutes. United looked just too anxious as they struggled to find openings in a packed Tynecastle defence, but the breakthrough came in 20 minutes. Payne took a free-kick on the right and successive headers by Hegarty and Sturrock gave Davie Dodds the chance to use his head and score from close range. Two minutes later it should have been two. A 25 yarder from Narey beat Allan and came off the post to Dodds, all on his own, but Davie put the rebound straight to the keeper. Hearts real chance came in 25 minutes, Gibson missing the ball completely following a corner on the left. It was Allan to the rescue again in the 37th minute as he flopped onto a Holt shot. But with half-time beckoning, United doubled their advantage. Davie Dodds flicked a Payne cross to Billy Kirkwood who headed strongly past Allan into the top of the net.

Hearts brought on Busby for Tierney at the start of the second half. Much of the strain seemed to have gone from proceedings. United could afford to cool things down though Narey tried a snap shot which was far too high. Dodds nearly made it three with a tremendous shot following a Payne corner kick. Liddell was booked for persistent fouling in 65 minutes. Craig had put one good try for the visitors in 75 minutes, his first time shot being inches high. This wok up United, and when Stark crossed low from the left, Liddell almost deflected the ball past Allan. The keeper then made a hard save look easy as he picked up a Kirkwood shot. Five minutes from time Stark handled a Busby shot on the goal line and Willie Gibson scored from the penalty kick.

Squad Statistics (as at April 25th, 1979)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)31 39 - 3653
Derek Stark20 301311
Paul Hegarty24 39419637
Ray Stewart19 363454
Dave Narey22 39523119
John Holt22 302846
Billy Kirkwood20 37118123
Derek Addison23 3138711
Paul Sturrock22 36716743
Graeme Payne23 29219410
Davie Dodds20 2894413

League Table (as at April 25th, 1979)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 34 18 7 9 +20 43
2. Celtic 29 15 6 8 +16 36
3. Aberdeen 31 11 13 7 +20 35
4. Rangers 29 13 9 7 +11 35
5. St Mirren 33 14 5 14 +5 33
6. Morton 34 11 11 12 -2 33
7. Hibernian 33 10 13 10 -4 33
8. Partick Th 30 12 7 11 +5 31
9. Hearts 31 8 7 16 -19 23
10. Motherwell 34 5 6 23 -52 16

League results since United's last match
25th April 1979
Celtic2-1St Mirren
Dundee Utd2-1Hearts
Partick Th6-1Hibernian

Manager's Programme Notes

Good evening and welcome back to Tannadice for another vital occasion tonight when Hearts are our visitors. Despite that disappointment of last Saturday when we suffered a 2-1 home defeat by Rangers, all is far from being lost on the title trail — which makes tonight's game yet another opportunity to add to that points lead we hold at the head of the table. Everyone here at the club was absolutely sick after the Rangers game, when knowing full well that the side played below the form standard of which they are capable. And yet I feel within myself that despite our failings we could have grabbed a share of the vital points although it is well known how difl&cult it is to overcome the members of the Old Firm in one-off situations such as last Saturday. But make no mistake about it both Rangers and Celtic are destined to lose points between now and the end of the season.

Equally so, we simply cannot afford to do so in our remaining three games and must therefore aim for the maximum and hope for some assistance elsewhere to aid our championship hopes. The reason for the weekend's disappointment was once again there for all to see and I feel that it is the ideal moment to point out the tremendous credit due the players for their achievements this season. They were forced, even before a ball had been kicked this term, to see two of our front runners lost to the club. They applied themselves superbly to those setbacks, and you can see the result. However, a situation at any club whereby just three players have challenged for the three positions up front illustrates our shortcomings. These players undoubtedly have the hardest jobs in the game nowadays and it has been really encouraging to see the advance made by Dave Dodds since he stepped up to full-time football. Tonight's game against Hearts will be far from easy despite the Tynecastle club's recent disappointments. In fact I see it as being every bit as difficult for us as Saturday's trip to Parkhead to meet Celtic — but in an entirely different sense. We continue to require your vocal backing — so let's hear it from the terracings.